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Article

Skeletal Growth Rates in Porites lutea Corals from Pulau Tinggi, Malaysia

1
Faculty of Science and Marine Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Kuala Nerus 21030, Terengganu, Malaysia
2
St. John’s Island National Marine Laboratory, Tropical Marine Science Institute, 18 Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119227, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kevin B. Strychar
Water 2022, 14(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010038
Received: 24 November 2021 / Revised: 11 December 2021 / Accepted: 21 December 2021 / Published: 24 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Studies of Coral Reefs)
Skeletal records of massive Porites lutea corals sampled from reefs around Malaysia have previously shown average decadal declines in growth rates associated with sea warming. However, there was a variability in growth declines between sites that warrant the need for investigations into more site-specific variations. This study analyzed decade-long (December 2004–November 2014) annual growth records (annual linear extension rate, skeletal bulk density, calcification rate) reconstructed from five massive P. lutea colonies from Pulau Tinggi, Malaysia. Significant non-linear changes in inter-annual trends of linear extension and calcification rates were found, with notable decreases that corresponded to the 2010 El Niño thermal stress episode and a pan-tropical mass coral bleaching event. Coral linear extension and calcification were observed to return to pre-2010 rates by 2012, suggesting the post-stress recovery of P. lutea corals at the study site within 2 years. Although no long-term declines in linear extension and calcification rates were detected, a linear decrease in annual skeletal bulk density by ≈9.5% over the 10-year study period was found. This suggests that although coral calcification rates are retained, the skeletal integrity of P. lutea corals may be compromised with potential implications for the strength of the overall reef carbonate framework. The correlation of coral calcification rates with sea surface temperature also demonstrated site-specific thermal threshold at 29 °C, which is comparable to the regional thermal threshold previously found for the Thai-Malay Peninsula. View Full-Text
Keywords: sclerochronology; calcification rate; linear extension rate; skeletal density; sea surface temperature; thermal stress sclerochronology; calcification rate; linear extension rate; skeletal density; sea surface temperature; thermal stress
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ong, C.K.; Lee, J.N.; Tanzil, J.T.I. Skeletal Growth Rates in Porites lutea Corals from Pulau Tinggi, Malaysia. Water 2022, 14, 38. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010038

AMA Style

Ong CK, Lee JN, Tanzil JTI. Skeletal Growth Rates in Porites lutea Corals from Pulau Tinggi, Malaysia. Water. 2022; 14(1):38. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010038

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ong, Chai K., Jen N. Lee, and Jani T.I. Tanzil. 2022. "Skeletal Growth Rates in Porites lutea Corals from Pulau Tinggi, Malaysia" Water 14, no. 1: 38. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010038

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